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what is the difference between chat and chatte?

i am learning animals, and this means cat

6 years ago



I am not sure I am 100% correct, but when I was in France I was told that "chatte" means "pussy" and is a colloquialism for vagina... And, just checking, Google Translate says that too.

6 years ago


Limoges and Vony are correct. I would recommend a non-native female speaker not to use the word in most cases.

6 years ago


The difference is one is female and the other is male. In general, when talking about cats, like when talking about a mix group of girls and boys people you just use il, you will just use chat.

This is the same with chien, if it is female, you will use chienne. And just like the posting above (and in english) when using the female version. It has its other connotations. So chienne can also be used to say bitch...just like a female dog is a bitch in english.

6 years ago


"un chat" is a cat. "une chatte" is a female cat and also a colloquialism for "pussy". In a french speaking country, one avoids using the word "chatte" if one does not want to make a joke.

6 years ago


Vony is correct. Technically chatte is a female cat and chat is a male cat. Chat is used generally as usually you aren't sure of the gender. Chatte has turned into a dirty word in some cases, but used with the right context would not be seen as such.

6 years ago


Does this mean there is a female word for all animals?

1 year ago

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Not for every animal, but yes, for many. And there are special words for young animals as well. Especially for farm animals or game animals. You don't have to worry much about the gender of a penguin.

le cerf = the stag; la biche = the doe; le faune = the faun la truie = the sow; le cochon/le porc = the pig; le porcelet = the piglet la vache = the cow; le taurreau = the bull; le veau = the calf

Just like in English, not every speaker knows or uses all the gender-specific terms. I once saw a French game show where they stumped the guests on some of the obscure ones.

1 year ago


So anyone have any idea why we're learning the word "chatte" if it's bordering on controversy? Personally, I think I'm just getting upset that I'm getting this whole "cat" thing wrong because these lessons were making me think I'd just lost my mind and forgotten that quickly that there absolutely was a French word for "cat" spelled c-h-a-t-t-e.

1 year ago